20 Surprising Secrets About The Amanda Show Revealed

The All That spinoff starring Amanda Bynes ran for three seasons and jump-started the careers of Drake Bell and Josh Peck

By Tierney Bricker Oct 16, 2019 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Drake Bell Recalls Working With Amanda Bynes

Amanda, please!

It might be hard to believe but The Amanda Show is 20 years old, with the All That spinoff centering on Amanda Bynes, serving as Nickelodeon's version of Carol Burnett, after she became one of the kids sketch series' breakout stars. And just like her obsessed-fan alter-ego Penelope Taynt, we all couldn't get enough of Amanda's comedy chops. 

While The Amanda Show ran for just three seasons, premiering on October 16, 1999 and abruptly ending in September 2002, its hilarious characters (Jude Trudy! Moody! Crazy Courtney!) and memes have kept its memory alive and well. Plus, The Amanda Show, which was created by Dan Schneider (who would go on to create Zoey 101 and iCarly), gifted the world with one of TV's most beloved childrens' sitcoms: Drake & Josh, as Drake Bell and Josh Peck actually met and became best friends on the set and the idea for their own show came from a very specific sketch.

20 Surprising Secrets About The Amanda Show Revealed

So bring out the dancing lobsters as we reveal some fun facts you might not know about The Amanda Show...

1. After joining the cast of All That in its third season, becoming one of its youngest stars as she was just 10 years old when she made her debut after being a huge fan of the show, telling Paper Magazine, "It was a dream come true. It was unbelievable for me. But it quickly became clear she was a breakout star, with the network giving her her own show after three seasons on All That

2. The original cast of The Amanda Show was Amanda as the host and star, Drake Bell, then 11, Nancy Sullivan, Raquel Lee and Johnny Kassir, though Raquel and Johnny would not return for the second season, with Josh Peck joining the cast.

3. Because of her work on All That, Drake was a bit star-struck when he first met Amanda, telling CBS, "I was a huge fan of Amanda...she was a huge star to me. I loved All That and I was already an admirer of her talent. Everything came so naturally to her. There was never a time when she was really off her game. Everything was so effortless."

4. However, there was one cast member Drake admitted to not being fond of at first: Josh Peck, as he revealed on the Speech Bubble podcast, "the time we met, we did not click at all. We didn't click." So when Drake say Josh was joining the cast, his reaction was less than enthusiastic. "I'm like, whoa, I'm the only guy in the cast...'No, not Josh Peck!' But the two quickly bonded over their love of classic comedies and comedians and became best friends. 

5. To help introduce the new spinoff, All That cast members Josh Server and Kenan Thompson made an appearance in the premiere episode, delivering flowers and a pizza to Amanda to wish her luck. 

7. Celebs who appeared on the series included Ashley Tisdale (playing a Cold Curer in three episodes), Saturday Night Live star Taran Killam, Shiri Appleby (as a nerd), Kathie Lee Gifford, and The O.C.'s Adam Brody as Greg Brady.

8. The Amanda Show was Taran's first acting job out of school, with the SNL vet appearing in one of the show's most beloved recurring sketches, Moody's Point, a parody of teen dramas like Dawson's Creek. Moody's mom in the sketch was played by The Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick

9. Moody's Point was pitched to Nickelodeon to be its own spinoff, which would've heavily featured Taran's character Spaulding, but the network decided not to pick it up.

"It would have been similar to Zoey 101, but with much more bizarre, absurd, random comedy," Schneider one revealed. "In fact, if you think about it, the whole Zoey-Chase relationship was a lot like the Moody-Spaulding relationship."

10.  The last outing of Moody's actually ending on a cliffhanger, with not even Schneider knowing how it would all play out. "That's why we'll never know who the real Moody was. Even I don't know...because I never had the opportunity to sit down and write it," he said of the unexpected cancellation.

11. One of the series' most enduring bits (and memes) are the dancing lobsters that would come in at the end of every Judge Trudy (a play on Judge Judy) skit, with Trudy (Amanda) proclaiming, "Court dismissed, bring in the dancing lobsters!" Lobster No. 2? Josh!

12. Though they were barely in their teens, the young actors often improvised a lot of their lines and characters while filming a sketch, with Drake revealing in a YouTube video, "Sometimes they wouldn't give us a character, here's your wardrobe and here's the wig you're wearing and then you'd just have to do something."

13. The Amanda Show launched an even more popular spinoff one year after it went off the air: Drake & Josh, which starred Drake and Josh as polar-opposite stepbrothers. Shenanigans obviously ensue. It became one of Nickelodeon's most successful sitcoms of all-time, that also launched another hit spinoff with star Miranda Cosgrove, iCarly.

14. The spinoff came to fruition thanks a sketch during The Amanda Show, with Drake explaining, "There was an episode one day where we were fighting over a shrimp and all it said in the script was 'Drake and Josh fighting over a shrimp.' You know, there was no dialogue or anything. And then we fought over a shrimp and it was really funny and the executive producers were like, 'Oh man, that's a show right there just these two guys.'" Years later, is how Drake & Josh would end its run, with the two fighting over shrimp. Full-circle.

15. A season two episode that first premiered in March 2001 was pulled from the air and hasn't aired since because it featured a sketch about a family called The Lucklesses who deal with persistent bad luck before their home is ultimately hit by a meteor and destroyed. After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the network decided the sketch was too violent to ever re-air.

16. While they've lost touch over the years, Drake has nothing but kind things to say about Amanda, saying on The Zach Sang Show that the first thing that pops into his mind when he thinks of her is "Carol Burnett. Unbelievable talent and funny as well…way beyond her years, like lightning in a bottle. When we started working together we were 12, 13 years old and the girl was running circles around the adults…she's unbelievable."

17. Amanda won the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards "Favorite TV Actress" for all three seasons of The Amanda Show

18. Josh revealed in a YouTube video that one of his favorite sketches from the show was a faux-commercial for "Snap, Krackle, Kaboom," an exploding cereal, that aired in a season three episode. One of the major reasons he loves it? Drake hated the yellow turtleneck he had to wear in it, almost refusing to do the sketch at the time.

19. In 2016, Nickelodeon added The Amanda Show back to its lineup, with Keith Dawkins, the executive vice president of TeenNick and NickToons, saying he believes the show had withstood the test of time. 

"People have kind of a short memory with history," he said, by way of Refinery29. "A woman being funny, leading content, and being like The Carol Burnett Show is not a new idea. We forget about it. Women can lead content. Women can lead the charge."

20. In March 2019, Drake revealed to E! News that he and Josh are reuniting for a new project, though they won't be reprising their iconic titular characters or any characters form their time on The Amanda Show (and despite their brief-but-very-public falling out over Josh not inviting Drake to his wedding in 2017.)

He's come up with some cool ideas. And, yeah, I can't really go into exactly what we're doing, but it's going to be really cool and exciting. I'm really excited to do it," Drake teased.